A core part of our vision for housing stability is to ensure that residents have access to digital resources – because a connected home is a stable home. In 2020, the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” initiative served as a catalyst to accelerate a shared mission to bridge the digital divide in Detroit, driving the creation of the Connect 313 Fund. Since then, we’ve worked alongside a variety of partners to create wide-ranging programs to provide Detroit residents with access to internet, digital resources and digital literacy training. When we started, only 40% of Detroit residents were digitally included. As a result of our concerted efforts, now over 67.5% of Detroit residents enjoy that status. Our partners at Human I-T have been integral to the success of our digital inclusion efforts, including refurbishing donated devices from Rocket Companies and overseeing distribution to those residents who need them.
That’s why we are especially excited about today’s announcement of Human I-T’s first ever retail location in the country, which will open soon in our hometown of Detroit. The announcement came during day one of Digital Inclusion Week, a national initiative which recognizes digital inclusion efforts across the country, and aims to spread awareness about digital resources and campaigns to end the digital divide.
The Human I-T storefront will offer Chromebooks, laptops, desktop computers and tablets along with the accessories to support these devices. Human I-T will also be offering tech support for installation as well as a full suite of digital navigation services. This includes access to low-cost devices, low-cost internet options, and digital skills training.
The opening of a brick-and-mortar Human I-T store will solve a critical need for Detroiters, as there is virtually no place in the city where residents can purchase technology or receive tech support and digital skills training. This endeavor will provide Detroiters with the access they need in order to thrive in today’s digital economy – from attending school to applying for jobs or registering for a telehealth appointment with their provider. Thanks to partners like Human I-T, we’re creating a more equitable community for Detroit families, where new opportunities to succeed are no longer out of reach.